We’re down to about six weeks before we pack up the house and move west. Daily I stare into the cupboards and think, “We need to downsize.” Moving food across country is doable, but I’d rather eat what we have and start fresh when we arrive. One staple we have in abundance is barley. I must have had a barley craving during the cold winter months and stocked up, but it’s time to find a way to use it. The only problem with barley is a little goes a long way. This recipe only called for a half cup, so that means I only have 4 more pounds to go. Better get cooking!
This recipe is from the New Revised Edition of MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK by Mollie Katzen. This is a great soup if you’re a fan of mushrooms.
Mushroom Barley Soup
Makes 6-8 Servings
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
6 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2- 1 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used Coconut Aminos, and use a little more than called for)
3-4 Tablespoons dry sherry (I used a little more than called for)
Freshly ground pepper
Place the barley and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the barley is tender (20-30 minutes. Add additional water, if necessary).
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is very tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in soy sauce (or Coconut Aminos) and sherry.
Add the sautéed onions and mushrooms with all the liquid to the cooked barley, along with the remaining 5 cups of water. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper, and simmer, partially covered, another 20 minutes over very low heat. Taste to correct seasonings, and serve.
This soup would be great with added carrots and other vegetables too. If you’re soy free the Coconut Aminos are a great addition! They can be purchased online.